Before the emergence of Nicki Minaj, a certain Lil Kim, who was often referred to as the Queen of Rap or Hip-Hop Goddess, was noted as the best female rapper of all time. The Brooklyn New York native, who was discovered by fellow New York rapper, The Notorious B.I.G., is best known for songs like “No Time”, “Big Momma Thang”, and “Not Tonight (Ladies Night)”.
In her day, and to some extent till today, Lil Kim was also known for her sexually provocative fashion sense which has influenced those that came after her. Read on to find out more about her early beginnings and career.
Lil Kim’s Bio
Lil Kim was born Kimberly Denise Jones on the 11th of July, 1974 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. She is the second of two children to her parents; Ruby and Linwood Jones, who raised her together until they separated when she was around the age of 9. Ms. Jones was subsequently raised by her former U.S. Marine father until the two fell out and she was kicked out of their home.
At this time, Kim, who had attended the Queen of All Saints Elementary School in Brooklyn, dropped out of high school. She had first attended Sarah J. Hale Vocational High School before transferring to Brooklyn College Academy.
While living on the streets, Kim began to focus on building a rap music career. She was able to do so thanks to her relationship with rapper The Notorious B.I.G who was a rising sensation at the time. At around the age of 19, she stopped going by her birth name and adopted the Lil Kim moniker as she joined forces with other upcoming artists to form the rap group, Junior MAFIA. The group, with the help of B.I.G who wrote most of their music, went on to release their first album in 1995, titled Conspiracy.
The RIAA certified gold Junior MAFIA album went on to propel Lil Kim to launch a solo rap career. In November 1996, after having created a buzz around herself by featuring on a number of top-charting R&B songs, she released her very first solo album called Hard Core. The album’s commercial success propelled her to new heights as she went ahead to launch her own record label and began to work as a model.
In 2000, she released her second album titled The Notorious Kim, which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold 229,000 copies in its first week of release. Her third album, La Bella Mafia, which was released in March 2003, also achieved considerable success as it debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 list and sold 166,000 copies in its first week.
By 2005, Lil Kim found herself on the receiving end of a one-year prison sentence after she was convicted of three counts of conspiracy and one count of perjury following a 2001 shooting incident. While serving time at the Federal Detention Center Philadelphia, Lil Kim ensured she would still be relevant in the rap music scene by scheduling her fourth album’s release during her time behind bars. The album, which was titled The Naked Truth, debuted at number 6 and sold 109,000 copies in its first week. Since that time, due to contractual obligations and court orders, Kim has been unable to release any more albums, although she has put out a number of mixtapes.
There are conflicting reports on the net worth of Lil Kim which is reported to be $18 million. The multiple platinum record selling rapper is said to be worth that much but in 2018, she filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in New Jersey. She is reported to owe the government, banks, and lawyers, more than $4 million.
In recent years, whenever Lil Kim steps out in public, she always appears different from the last time she was seen, which is as a result of her having gone under knife more than a couple of times. The Magic Stick rapper looks to have done some work on her jaw, eyes, cheeks, nose, and skin, making her almost unrecognizable from the time she broke onto the scene.
In her defense, however, Ms. Jones was forced to work on her nose after it was broken a couple of times by an ex-boyfriend.
In June 2014, Lil Kim gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Royal Reign. The baby was born from her relationship with Honduras-born New York rapper, Mr. Papers. The pair has since ended their relationship and were reported to be embroiled in a custody battle over their daughter.
Lil Kim is 4 feet 11 inches (149 cm) tall and weighs 55 kg (121 lbs). Her body measurements 36-26-34.
She has dabbled into acting, either appearing as herself or playing a role. Some of the movies she has appeared in include She’s All That (1999), Gang of Roses (2003), and Superhero Movie (2008).